Illuminations brings together five film and video works that explore gestures, objects and spaces that shape or express belief. The title refers both to the light generated by projected images in a darkened gallery and to metaphorical states of enlightenment attainable through faith.
Belief – be it spiritual, philosophical, cultural or scientific – is a means through which individuals recognise and make sense of the world. It can be resolute or instinctive, questioning or blind, reasoned or irrational, individual or collective. In this exhibition, artists Lida Abdul, Dan Acostioaei, Sanford Biggers, caraballo-farman and Valérie Mréjen explore how belief is articulated through places, symbols, words and actions. Their work captures incidents and gestures that relate to rituals of commitment and revelation. Viewed through the media of video and film, belief is presented as an intrinsic feature of daily life, which can provoke reflection and transformation. Through a range of strategies, including documentary and observation, the artists examine the position of the individual within communal frameworks that order moral and social behaviour.
Illuminations is the second in a series of four related exhibitions in the Level 2 Gallery, Tate Modern’s dedicated space for contemporary and emerging international artists. The series explores ideas of citizenship through themes of economy, belief, the state and the individual. The first exhibition in the series was The Irresistible Force. The Level 2 Gallery programme is conceived and led by Tate Modern’s Assistant Curators, in dialogue with Catherine Wood, Curator.
Illuminations is curated by Lucy Askew and Ben Borthwick